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Thoughts on the Arizona shooting

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Valject replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 1:18 PM

" I still think, though, that even this is inferior to a society with guns widely available.  Why?  Because I dislike rape, and I've noticed that men tend to be larger and stronger than women."

 

I've been lobbying the government to ban men for years.  But now that you mention it, just having guns would probably be more feasible.  My arguments weren't getting across anyway. I kept pointing out that, while the number of deaths resulting from firearms is relatively low, the number of people who have lost their lives because of a man is off the charts.  On a completely unrelated note, I love it when the absurd is used to destroy an argument.

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2.  You're familiar with Locke and initial appropriation?  Unless you're of the sort who denies land can be owned (Georgist, geoist, or whatever) why would you make this claim?

You own that with which you mix your labor. You can't just claim half a continent to yourself.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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JAlanKatz replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 1:28 PM

 

You own that with which you mix your labor. You can't just claim half a continent to yourself.

So landing with a boat and a letter from the King of England doesn't give you legitimate ownership, or the right to chase people off the land, right?
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JAlanKatz replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 1:29 PM

 

I've been lobbying the government to ban men for years.  But now that you mention it, just having guns would probably be more feasible.  My arguments weren't getting across anyway. I kept pointing out that, while the number of deaths resulting from firearms is relatively low, the number of people who have lost their lives because of a man is off the charts.  On a completely unrelated note, I love it when the absurd is used to destroy an argument.

Honestly, I don't know if you're agreeing with me, disagreeing, or making a joke.  But anyway, my point is that it's not likely for a woman to fight off a rapist without a gun, or, more broadly, saying "guns shouldn't exist at all" just amounts to saying there should be no way to equalize force in confrontations, and so the stronger should always be able to overpower anyone they wish.
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Valject replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 1:42 PM

 

"Nobody has ever used DVDs or "manuals" to learn how to play soccer, football, baseball, etc."

Different skill set, but you are incorrect.  Many such manuals exist.  I learned many tricks about soccer from reading, such as how to properly catch a ball as it is falling.  You then translate that into the practice you mentioned.  You have to learn what to practice before you can actually practice.

"Unless you've put in hours of very specific practice, i.e. unless you've had thousands of balls-to-the-wall training sessions with partners yielding rubber knives with similar weight/length/feel to other knives, you cannot call yourself a good knife-fighter."

 

There is no substitute for using a real knife.  People who do not tend to lose inhibitions.  For instance, one of the most thrilling and frightening experiences I had with knives involved sprinting while holding my knife in a ready position.  It's a really fast sprint, leaning forward in case a quick duck of the head is required.  As you come to the target, you swing the blade, and you learn to keep your balance...but there is always that bit in the back of the mind saying "You know, if you fall, you're going to stab your leg or bicep.  Don't fall, genius."  Also, for knife-fighting, you really don't need a partner unless you want to practice cutting at someone's arm while they swing at you, which is not necessary since no one is going to swing an arm at someone with a knife.

 

 

"I'm always very skeptical about these people who claim to be great knife fighters or that they're able to disarm someone yielding a knife or gun relatively easily for precisely this reason. Many karatekas, aikidokas, and so forth perform their cute little katas and then they think they know something about actual fighting."

Disarming a knife is nonsense.  I can't agree more.  Any idiot that is going to get close quarters with someone holding a blade, whether by design or accident, and attempt to take the knife away deserves a diced palm.  Just getting control of the arm puts you in the blade path. Panic mode is the best way to deal with being jumped by someone with a knife.

A gun can be disarmed easily once you have your hand on the gun itself.  The problem is that index fingers and bullets both move faster.  If you think you can get away with your life, hand over your watch.  If they are going to shoot you one way or another, then you really better hope beyond hope that they have a gun right in your face and told you to put your hands up, because that's the only way you can possibly move your head and grab a gun before they reposition, fire, and end you.  Also, if they fire while you're holding the gun, you can still disarm it, but the recoil and the snap of the chamber are enough to shock most people into letting go.  I would recommend not fighting someone with a gun, unless you have a gun.

And don't even get me started on Aikido people.  They think they're invincible until you start throwing jabs at them.  Then they suddenly act as if they've never seen a fight in their lives...

"In order to get good at a specific skill, you need hours of specific practice."

Lots.  This is the best advice in the universe about anything, ever.

"And of course, there are the people who study books and/or DVDs and then call friends over to "practice." These people often ruin their potential martial arts/combat sports careers by not having someone qualified oversee them."

You can learn how to throw a kick by reading, studying some diagrams, and then practicing.  Wouldn't recommend trying to learn judo that way, unless you've got a lot of time to kill for no good reason.  But I doubt anyone really needs someone to oversee them in any way other than something like a spotter for practicing backward handsprings.  Broken necks are even less fun if no one's around to call you an ambulance.

Overall, I'd say reading has its place in learning how to fight, just as it has a place in learning anything.  The practice is, however, the key.


 

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Valject replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 1:44 PM

I'm agreeing with you, Mr. J.  The absurd argument in question is that of getting rid of guns because of the statistics relating them to deaths.

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So landing with a boat and a letter from the King of England doesn't give you legitimate ownership, or the right to chase people off the land, right?

That is correct. If you find free land, though, no one can stop you from working it. The Founding Fathers did have a right to be there at the same time as the Indians.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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JAlanKatz replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 3:12 PM

That is correct. If you find free land, though, no one can stop you from working it. The Founding Fathers did have a right to be there at the same time as the Indians.

What if you find land that is owned by others?  Or, if they've been crossing it for centuries to chase buffalo, do they not have at least an easement?

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What if you find land that is owned by others?  Or, if they've been crossing it for centuries to chase buffalo, do they not have at least an easement?

You can't claim ownership of someone else's property. Again, this "land" you're talking about cannot really be owned unless someone's labor is mixed with it (i.e. a house, a front yard, a playground, etc.). And, if there is no other way through, you can certainly walk across someone's front yard to get to your own property. People are reasonable beings; it isn't as if people have no sympathy.

And, yes, they have an easement just like the Founding Fathers did. Anyone can chase buffalo for centuries, but that neither gives them permission to somehow own the land across which they chased the animals nor prohibit others from chasing the same buffalo.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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JAlanKatz replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 5:00 PM

So the definition of land ownership allows that white men behavior give ownership, but Indian behaviors don't.  That works out nicely.  In any case, what's under discussion is not white men also chasing the buffalo, but slaughtering any Indian who comes across 'their' land, going on killing sprees, insisting that native inhabitants become their slaves, purposefully and knowingly providing 'gifts' of blankets infected with smallpox, and so on.

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jay replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 5:57 PM

The Indians weren't entirely peaceful.

"The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -C.S. Lewis
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Some white people may have committed unjust acts, some Indians may have committed unjust acts.  That one white man is a criminal does not mean that all people who happen to have white skin are criminals.  Likewise that one Indian has settled an area of land does not by itself mean that that one Indian - or indeed every 'Indian' - owns all land to which it is connected.  How often do collectivism and its subset racism rear their ugly heads.

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JAlanKatz replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 9:28 PM

The question was not about moral dessert.  The question was about violence in the present-day United States.  I claim that, in part, the American ethos tends towards violence because of a violent past and founding. 

To address your post directly, though, throwing around accusations of racism does nothing to change the fact that there was a civilization already present when settlers landed with letters from the King telling them that they owned this land, and could consider all inhabitants as slaves.  They proceeded to blithely slaughter people they came in contact with (but not before seeking their hospitality and food when they found they didn't know how to live here.)  They set up their own cities and societies, and considered people who had been living here to be pesky interlopers.  One set of settlers stands out as exceptions - and so the British went to war with them and drove them from the continent, then sought peace with the inhabitants - only to then offer them blankets infected with smallpox.  After the colonists who had received the most land from the British cut off ties with the British government, the official policy ranged from outright slaughter, to herding people into camps, to ill-executed plans to require them to be farmers, to a game of "sign this treaty and give up these acres and we promise to protect your remaining land claims from attacks" only to be renegotiated the next month, or in some cases, within days. 

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'They' did this, 'they'  did that.  Not all settlers were unjust.  Not all settlement was unjust.  Where injustice occured, it was unjust.  What's your point?  The Romans slaughtered the entire population of Carthage - damn violent Italians!

In any case I hardly think the American ethos is any more violent than that of any other peoples.  What is the evidence for this?  In fact many other peoples have a far greater belief in violence - especially when using the government to carry it out (the evidence for this is of course the relative sizes of government).

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JAlanKatz replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 10:06 PM

'They' did this, 'they'  did that.  Not all settlers were unjust.  Not all settlement was unjust.  Where injustice occured, it was unjust.  What's your point?  The Romans slaughtered the entire population of Carthage - damn violent Italians!

It's a historical point.  It's the history of what happened on this continent.  As I said, there were just settlers - mostly the French, who for that very reason found themselves at war with the British. 

In any case I hardly think the American ethos is any more violent than that of any other peoples.  What is the evidence for this?

I was responding to a poster who claimed it was caused by our open gun laws.  When engaging in an argument, I find it most effective to accept their premise and show that their conclusion fails even by their logic.  So, rather than challenging the claim that Americans are violent, I offered an alternative hypothesis.

In fact many other peoples have a far greater belief in violence - especially when using the government to carry it out (the evidence for this is of course the relative sizes of government).

Because their governments invade so many more countries than the American government does?  Because they have larger spy organizations than CIA, carry out more clandestine operations...

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I claim that, in part, the American ethos tends towards violence because of a violent past and founding. 

That is so untrue. How can you back this up? I know you said you were responding to someone, but you still said this, and it has no meaning.

to a game of "sign this treaty and give up these acres and we promise to protect your remaining land claims from attacks" only to be renegotiated the next month, or in some cases, within days.

As opposed to now where we have the government's issuance of eminent domain.

The Romans slaughtered the entire population of Carthage - damn violent Italians!

Exactly.

So the definition of land ownership allows that white men behavior give ownership, but Indian behaviors don't.  That works out nicely.  In any case, what's under discussion is not white men also chasing the buffalo, but slaughtering any Indian who comes across 'their' land, going on killing sprees, insisting that native inhabitants become their slaves, purposefully and knowingly providing 'gifts' of blankets infected with smallpox, and so on.

Are you kidding me? You're resorting to emotion and racism in order to try to prove your point. As I said, land ownership means not messing with other people's property. That also means no government deciding a race of people can be deemed slaves. All of the actions you listed were performed by individuals, not a collective group. With your logic, the 9/11 attacks really should be blamed on the population living in the Middle East.

Because their governments invade so many more countries than the American government does?  Because they have larger spy organizations than CIA, carry out more clandestine operations...

It's an absolute joke that you're acting as if we all have a say regarding what the government, military, and CIA do on a daily basis.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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krazy kaju replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 11:17 PM

Alright, I believe your claims Valject. (:

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Marko replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 12:16 AM

In any case I hardly think the American ethos is any more violent than that of any other peoples.  What is the evidence for this?  In fact many other peoples have a far greater belief in violence - especially when using the government to carry it out (the evidence for this is of course the relative sizes of government).

A double standard.

While refusing to fault your people for the activity of their government, you fault other peoples for the activity of their governments.

 

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Aristippus replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 12:28 AM

"While refusing to fault your people for the activity of their government, you fault other peoples for the activity of their governments."

1. I'm not American (or British for that matter).

2.  Demanding and voting for more government aggression is quite different to the happenstance of being a subject of the British monarchy and aristocracy.

3.  In any case I was not talking about ALL people living under big government, and not claiming that they were responsible for all government actions.  I was merely making a comment about the tolerance of - and indeed desire for - government aggression amongst individuals living in different parts of the world, and that it seems to me that this is lower in the USA than in certain countries.

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Marko replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 12:40 AM

I was merely making a comment about the tolerance of - and indeed desire for - government aggression amongst individuals living in different parts of the world, and that it seems to me that this is lower in the USA than in certain countries.

So you merely feel the tolerance of - and indeed desire for - US government aggression against the Indians which JAlan was talking about was less objectionable that the tolerance and desire for government aggression in many places elsewhere.

That is great, but as it is something that can not be objectively judged isn't saying much.

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Aristippus replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 12:49 AM

If you're talking about the US government in the 19th century then what you're saying makes more sense, since public opinion was somewhat influential at that time.  If you went back, however, you'd see that if we were talking about any government (which wasn't necessarily the case) it was that of Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries, since my opponent claimed that the inhabitants of the newly established USA lived on stolen land and had brutalised the Indians.

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JAlanKatz replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 9:02 AM

 

That is so untrue. How can you back this up? I know you said you were responding to someone, but you still said this, and it has no meaning.

When someone says "how can you explain A except by B" and I offer reason C, it means I do believe that C is true, but not necessarily that A is true.  I answer people on their premises.  I believe we have a violent founding and violent past.  Even a mainstream history book will show you that; a good history book will show it more effectively.  I don't know that we're particularly violent as a people.
 

As opposed to now where we have the government's issuance of eminent domain.

Also a terribly statist program, and one that should be ended.  What's the contradiction?
 

Are you kidding me? You're resorting to emotion and racism in order to try to prove your point. As I said, land ownership means not messing with other people's property. That also means no government deciding a race of people can be deemed slaves. All of the actions you listed were performed by individuals, not a collective group. With your logic, the 9/11 attacks really should be blamed on the population living in the Middle East.

So when the government of England decided a race of people should be slaves, that was wrong.  Yes, of course actions are performed by individuals.  That's Austrian 101.  Nonetheless, those actions, by individuals, influence future developments.  The fact that settlers tended to be violent towards Indians might have influenced who was willing to come over from England, for instance.  Further, people grow up in a culture.  If they see people of their parents' generation, whether their parents are participating or not, engaged in slaughter, this influences their thinking and development.  If you live in a culture of military parades or where people who kill a lot of people are regarded as folk heroes, yes, this might tend to make your thinking more violent.  As far as land ownership, I was referring to what types of actions qualify as Lockean homesteading.  It seems to work out nicely that the kinds of things white men tend to do make this land ownership happen, but the kinds of things Indians tend to do with land do not give them ownership, but at best a sort of right of way.
 

It's an absolute joke that you're acting as if we all have a say regarding what the government, military, and CIA do on a daily basis.

I wasn't the one who went down that path.  The claim I was responding to was that Americans might be less violent than other people since our government is less aggressive.  It seems relevant to point out that it is not, and in fact engages in more aggression than most other governments.
 
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JAlanKatz replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 9:05 AM

 

3.  In any case I was not talking about ALL people living under big government, and not claiming that they were responsible for all government actions.  I was merely making a comment about the tolerance of - and indeed desire for - government aggression amongst individuals living in different parts of the world, and that it seems to me that this is lower in the USA than in certain countries.

But what makes it seem that way?  As far as I can tell, the US government is more aggressive than most.  Do you mean that most of the violence committed by the US government is done outside the borders, whereas other governments commit more inside?  First, that's rapidly changing.  Second, no one thinks "wouldn't it be great if the government committed violence against me?"  Everyone wants that violence to be committed against others.  This is true whether it's being tolerated against other citizens, or other outsiders.
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The fact that settlers tended to be violent towards Indians might have influenced who was willing to come over from England, for instance.  Further, people grow up in a culture.  If they see people of their parents' generation, whether their parents are participating or not, engaged in slaughter, this influences their thinking and development.  If you live in a culture of military parades or where people who kill a lot of people are regarded as folk heroes, yes, this might tend to make your thinking more violent.

This is the part with which I fundamentally disagree. If parents during that time were engaged in slaughter, it doesn't mean that the children will be involved in that activity whatsoever. I grew up around a middle school and high school with kids drinking and doing drugs and having sex at an incredibly young age. The thought never came into my mind that I should be like them. I saw it was wrong, and it made me want to never drink and do any of that stuff because it showed me the importance of being a kid. So, yes, some kids might follow their parents' bad behaviors, but it's definitely not the case for everyone. That's just how society progresses. And I don't mean to speak for children of continual war, but I feel like all they'd want is peace.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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